Time to relive Jaws, anyone? A 1323-lb. mako shark caught off the Southern California coast near Huntington Beach Monday could be the largest on record.
It took Jason Johnston, a cinematographer from Mesquite, Texas, nearly two hours to reel in the 11-foot long fish, which he caught while on a video shoot for the Outdoor Channel’s reality TV show “Jim Shockey’s The Professionals.”
Here’s how he described his catch to KTLA: “He took out a quarter-mile of line… and five times he came out of the water over 20 feet. It was amazing,” he said. “This thing is definitely a killing machine. Any wrong step, I could have gone out of the boat and down to the bottom of the ocean.”
Not everyone is thrilled by the news of the catch, however. David McGuire of the shark advocacy group Shark Stewards told the Los Angeles Times that the shark should have been released. “People should be viewing these sharks as wonderful animals that are important to the ocean and admiring how beautiful they are,” he said, not “spilling their blood and guts.”
Johnston plans to donate the shark’s body for further scientific research. Under California law, anyone with a fishing license may catch up to two sharks per day. There is no restriction on the shark’s weight.
A typical adult mako shark is about 10 feet long and weighs 300 pounds. The previous record holder, a 1,221-pounder, was hooked in 2001 off the coast of Chatham, Mass.